Meet Izzy Minor, who joined GRENKE as a Business Administration Apprentice in 2019. Four years later, she has completed her apprenticeship and is now a CILEx (Chartered Institute of Legal Executives) paralegal having passed the CPQ Foundation Stage. She is about to embark on the next stages of the CILEx paralegal journey, but she took some time out of her busy schedule to speak to us about her career to date.
Why law, and why did you decide to pursue your legal studies in the work place?
I did A level Law and since then I’ve had a passion for it. I find the legal system fascinating – there are so many different areas, although some are more interesting than others. I also find it interesting how some aspects of legislation do not always work as you would expect them to!
I decided not to follow the traditional university route as I thought I would get more practical, commercial experience earlier on in my career by studying whilst working. I was also very keen on the idea of having no student debt and some savings by the end of it. It was a difficult decision to go against the grain, but one I would stick by and would recommend to those in a similar position. GRENKE have been integral to my successful development in full-time employment in a busy department.
What encouraged you to join GRENKE?
During my interview with GRENKE, I shared my ultimate ambition of pursuing a career in law, which was well received. Joining a law firm, would have been challenging, as I didn’t have prior office experience given I was fresh out of college. But, GRENKE is a German company, and apprenticeships are very common in Germany. I was one of GRENKE’s first five apprentices in the UK, which was a privilege and something that ultimately encouraged me to accept the role. And, back in 2021 when I started my legal studies, I was also one of the first people in the UK to do the CILEx course as the programme had only just begun. Being part of the first cohort in both cases really appealed to me!
What challenges did you face while you were completing the CILEx Foundation course?
Studying and working is challenging at times, but GRENKE are brilliant at providing me with the support and flexibility I need. I was supposed to spend one day a week studying, but I didn’t want to do it all at once. I work best if I study regularly in short bursts. GRENKE allowed me to find my happy medium so that I could reach my full potential. I found that studying for an hour and a half every day in a quiet space in the office allowed me to manage client commitments as well as my course work. Naturally, I had to study in my own time too, especially when I had deadlines for coursework or exams.
How do you manage your life outside work and study?
I’m lucky because I have a number of hobbies that give me a healthy balance. I love horse riding and walking my dog, Goldie, so those activities encourage me to get ‘out and about’ and get some fresh air. But, I’m only 21, and I also enjoy catching up with my friends. I had to make myself accountable and I had to learn to manage my time. So, I set myself goals in line with the deadlines and tasks I’d been given to make sure I kept on track.
Where do you see your career in seven years’ time?
Well, I’ll be heading towards 30 and my dream is to be a qualified CILEx lawyer by then. In the meantime, I need to work out which area of law I’d like to focus on. I particularly enjoy contract law, but I also like private client law, such as will planning and probate, as it applies to everyone. We will have to see which direction I end up taking!
Izzy's story is a perfect example of how investing in an employee's development can pay off for both the individual and the company. It’s two-way street, and the support that GRENKE gives Izzy has resulted in a happy and committed member of the team. Furthermore, Izzy found her line manager, Meriel Williams, to be an invaluable mentor and their strong working relationship has reaped the benefits of this.
Thank you Izzy for your time and contribution to this article. Congratulations on being awarded CILEx Paralegal status. We wish you continued success at GRENKE and in the meantime, it’s wonderful watching your career blossom and grow.